IBC’s Top 10 tips to detect and prevent auto insurance fraud

March 3rd, 2015 by

March marks Fraud Prevention Month, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is a sponsor of the event, which takes place across Canada. 

"Auto insurance fraud is a serious issue that's estimated to cost as much as $1.6 billion a year in Ontario alone," said Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Investigative Services, IBC. "It's a big business that siphons resources away from our health care system, ties up our emergency services and courts, and drives up insurance costs."

The IBC is working with provincial governments in deterring fraud across the country. Recently, the Ontario legislature passed Bill 15, which seeks to protect consumers by reducing insurance fraud, as well as regulate tow and storage services. The IBC has also partnered with other groups, including Crime Stoppers and police services, to investigate and raise awareness regarding fraud.

Here are the IBC's 10 tips for detecting and avoiding auto insurance fraud:

  1. As a buyer, be aware. Make sure to work with a reputable dealer and look carefully into the vehicle's history. Deals which seem too good to be true probably are.
  2. Inspect the vehicle you're considering. In particular, you want to make sure there is no damage from floods. Water stains and mildew are common signs. In addition, look for sand or silt under the carpets, floor mats, headliner cloth and behind the dashboard.
  3. Look for rust on the screws on the console and in other areas water doesn't ordinarily reach. A certified mechanic can inspect the vehicle beforehand.
  4. Avoid staged collisions. Don't tailgate, and always allow extra room. 
  5. If you think you're the victim of a staged collision, call the police immediately from the accident scene.
  6. In the event of a collision, document everything. This includes the other vehicle's licence plate number, pictures of the damage and evidence of the other driver's behaviour.
  7. Use a reputable tow truck service. The tow truck should have a licensing number. In addition, be sure to read anything you're asked to sign, and indicate that you want your vehicle stored in a safe location. 
  8. In the event of a collision, call your insurance representative immediately after the police. Make sure you understand your policy and know your coverage.
  9. If you think you have been the victim of an insurance crime, you can call IBC's confidential, 24/7 tip line at 1-877-IBC-TIPS or submit an anonymous tip online.

If you are looking for the best auto insurance coverage in New Brunswick, contact Fundy Mutual. We have been serving the region for over 70 years, and offer the affordable and reliable protection.